Opinions

Is a Blue Checkmark Worth $8 Per Month?

Percy Bartelt, staff writer

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably tired of hearing about Elon Musk. But he always manages to outdo himself, most recently by buying Twitter. Or — more accurately — Twitter finally settling with one of the richest people in the world after he so desperately wanted to have it. And we all know that if a multi-billionaire wants something, they will get it by any means necessary. Musk and Twitter went back and forth for so long that it seems everyone forgot about his plan, or figured he just gave up, but he finally completed his $44 billion acquisition of the social network on Oct. 27. Frankly, he should have just given up, but that’s just me being blunt. When Elon, like a spoiled kid, finally got what he wanted, he went to Twitter to announce his plans for the app moving forward and left a lot to be desired. 

One of his first actions was firing half of the company’s staff and its three top executives whilst also adding his own employees because hey, that’s a good idea! He then proceeded to tell everyone that he plans on making free speech more open — across all ideologies, backgrounds and identities. This is great in theory, except when someone makes fun of Elon with a parody account — then you will be immediately banned without warning. God forbid a stranger make fun of one of the wealthiest people in the world at $200 billion — it might hurt his feelings, and we can’t have that!

In his series of tweets he stated, “The rate of evolution of Twitter will be an immense step change compared to what it has been in the past. You know, if nothing else, I am a technologist and I can make technology go fast. And that’s what you’ll see happen at Twitter.” You heard it here first — Elon Musk “makes technology go fast.” We’re officially saved!

I’m sure most of you have heard about his other big plan to introduce to Twitter — making verified accounts on Twitter become subscription-based. At first, Musk posited that surely $20 per month was a reasonable cost — essentially believing “if I, $200 billion net worth Elon Musk, can pay for it, then surely everyone can!” But after world-renowned horror author Stephen King tweeted something along the lines of “that’s insane, I will leave Twitter,” Musk suddenly had a change of heart and settled for only $8 per month — as if that’s any better. So, now anyone can get that little blue checkmark by their name if they feel like paying $8 per month. But what Elon Musk doesn’t seem to realize is that this immediately takes credibility away from actual journalists or company sources that use Twitter for outreach of their media. Now, if anyone can have a checkmark, which sources can we really trust on that platform?

Not that Twitter was all that great to begin with, but many users have stated that they’re going to just move to Tumblr at this rate. And funny enough, Tumblr has said that they’re ready with open arms and have even thought about changing some of their own rules. With Twitter’s new owner, who knows where it’s headed, but I don’t necessarily want to stick around long enough to find out.